Carson City Mint Payroll for July 1866 for Building the Mint

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Carson City Mint Payroll for July 1866 for Building the Mint
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Quite possibly the best Carson City Mint document we've ever handled. Lists 49 employees, their name, occupation, number of days worked, wage, total pay, signature and remarks. They were employed in excavating the basement, cutting the drain for a sewer, quarrying granite from Abe Curry's quarry, etc.


The Carson City Mint was one of only seven federal mints constructed in the United States. An 1863 Act of Congress established it as a branch mint, but the Civil War and congressional appropriations delayed its construction until 1866. Treasury Department architect A. B. Mullett designed the building. Workers completed the mint in 1869 and the mint struck its first coin in 1870. In 1874, it was awarded full status as a United States Mint along with facilities in San Francisco and New Orleans under the administration of the original U.S. Mint in Philadelphia. The famed Comstock Lode, discovered in 1859, yielded millions of dollars in gold and silver, some of which was sold to the mint. The Carson City Mint served as federal recognition of the value of the local mines and their importance to the national economy. The last coinage was stamped at the Carson City Mint in 1893. During its history, the Carson City institution minted 56,636,119 gold and silver coins. Its mint status was withdrawn in 1899, and it was an assay office until 1933. The Mint building opened as the Nevada State Museum in October 1941. Today the rare "CC" mint mark is one of the most coveted among coin collectors. [ONE Online Nevada Encyclopedia]


It is unusual to see individual Chinese laborers listed. Although Ah Sing seems to have signed for each one, we see the laborers names in Chinese and English. They received $3.00 a day/ The white workers were earning $5.00 a day. Amazingly, the first 8 names are for Chinese workers! They are listed as laborers making $3 per day. Includes: Ah Hong, Lou Keen, Ah Ting, Ah How, Ah Chow, Ah Chee, Ah Pee, and Ah Ling. In the Remarks column, it is noted that: "These Chinese belong to a Company Known as the 'Saw You' Company and this Receipt is signed by Ah Sing the agent, in Conformity to a Custom of the Chinese, who above is authorized to receive pay."


The bottom right corner carries the signature of Abe Curry. Abraham Van Santvoord Curry was the founder of Carson City and a businessman who greatly influenced the evolution of Nevada territory and the early state. Curry turned up in western Utah Territory, now western Nevada, in 1858. He and his three partners, B. F. Green, Frank M. Proctor, and J. J. Musser, hoped to establish a mercantile business in the thriving town of Genoa. On this new tract, Curry opened a sandstone quarry and, with material from the quarry, built a two-story hotel on the site. He also built the Great Basin Hotel on one of his town lots, and, in a burst of calculated enthusiasm, donated ten acres in the center of town as the site of an anticipated state capitol building. In 1861, when Congress cleaved Nevada Territory from gigantic Utah Territory, Curry donated the use of the second floor of his Warm Springs Hotel to the first territorial legislature. On January 1, 1862, Governor James W. Nye appointed Curry warden of the territorial prison. As part of the deal, Curry leased his Warm Springs Hotel as the prison, and the adjacent quarry provided the hard labor opportunities for prisoners, who quarried much of the building material for early Carson City. Curry served as warden for several years. In 1865, a year after Nevada statehood, the United States Congress authorized construction of a branch mint in Carson City, naming Curry one of three planning commissioners. By July 1866, when ground was broken, Curry was the superintendent of construction, which finished in 1869. Minting began in 1870, with Curry now serving as superintendent. Late in 1870, Curry left the Mint to accept a commission to build the engine house and machine shop for the Virginia and Truckee Railroad. The United States Mint closed for the day Curry died out of respect for its first superintendent. Despite his impressive accomplishments, Mary Curry claimed Abe had only one dollar in his pocket when he died. [ONE Online Nevada Encyclopedia]

Document is 25" x 22.75" Professionally matted and framed: 33" x 30.75." Condition: expected fold lines, some staining bottom right, and other small areas of wear (creases). Looks fantastic framed! (Al Adams Gold Rush Memorabilia Collection) Date: Location: Carson City, Nevada HWAC# 50965